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Play to Innovate

Play to Innovate

Author: Bret Schwalb

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Are you ready to get unstuck in your work and life?
Learn about innovation and how to apply the mindset and techniques to take you from good to extraordinary.

Learn from my 20 years of experience as a designer and the concepts I learned from sales, marketing, PR, and other design professionals that win clients and awards.

New episodes every Tuesday.

Intro Music:
16 Episodes
Under the Influence

Under the Influence


A friend of mine asked if the books I've read or am interested in have influenced my creativity. The conclusion I come to may surprise you. You may even disagree with me. But, I there are a few books and authors who have influenced me over the years. Here are a few of them: The Phantom Tollbooth Any book by Robert Heinlein Finding Joy by Dannel I Schwartz Every book by John Maxwell Have books influenced your creativity? If so, leave a comment with your favorites. If not, what has influenced your creativity?
There is a time and place to not innovate. In this episode I explore the lessons I've learned about when it's best to not innovate. Through examples, we'll explore what may be the better option and what a holistic approach to design will buy you.
If the last thing you did still feels big to you, you haven't grown. I've heard that from mentors, speakers and authors. The reality is, we all have that thing (or two) that still feels big. But, moving to a growth mindset can boost your creativity and innovative mind. In the episode I explore two companies that grew and the lessons you can learn from them. I'll also share the lessons helped me move from a fixed mindset to a goal mindset, and eventually a growth mindset.
When it comes to innovation, mistakes are not just inevitable, they're a must. But they also don't have to be public embarrassments. In fact, the more mistakes you can make, sooner in the project, the better you can innovate. In this episode I'll talk about the 3 options you have when making a mistake and how you can use mistakes to boost your innovation and creativity.
Do you see your world as train tracks or roads? I used to feel like my world was train tracks. My language was all about being on the right track or being on or off track. Your mindset, the way you see the world either closes you off or opens you up to what you need to do to be creative and innovative in your areas of interest. Listen to learn what you can do to open yourself to better solutions.
If you could know the date and time your industry was going to be disrupted, would you do something about it? Most industries have indicators that let you know something's coming. Unfortunately, most of us have plenty of excuses that keep us from moving. In this episode, I talk about what you can do about it.
Given society norms, it may seem ironic that it's really the lab level or less commercial innovation that has the more far reaching affects. In this episode, I talk about three recent innovations, why they are significant, the thought processes behind them and how you can use those lessons. For more information, you can read about: Reducing Icing: Human-machine interface New Particles from matter and light You may also like articles from: Science Daily - Interesting Engineering -
Breaking past the status quo isn't just about you, it's also about gaining acceptance in the market. Changing your status quo is more about your mindset than your audience size, products, or services. But, don't expect to stay relevant in the market if you don't change your mindset.
Learn why there's always some amount of chaos with every project, why it's a benefit and how you can embrace it. If you're not comfortable with the chaos and choose to try to keep things "clean," you'll never advance.
In this episode, I talk about why using more humanizing terms is an important part of being innovative. Are you still using terms like "resource," "asset," or worse "human capital," when talking about employees and colleagues? How about calling the people using your product "users" or "heavy users"? I'll tell you how to break that habit and join the world of innovators who know the secret to understanding what people want.
Considering all the risks, is true innovation even worth it? In this episode, I talk through some examples of failed products and discuss what went wrong. I finish by going through the questions you can ask to help minimize that risk.
In this episode, I talk about why your most creative projects often have the most limits. You'll also learn why limits give us direction and help push us out of our bubble.
Failure and mistakes are lessons if you let them teach you. Learn six of the biggest lessons all my years of failure has taught me and how it helps me stay creative and innovative. You'll also learn what to do when you fail or make a mistake.
Find out why innovation takes you questioning everything you think you know. I'll share four fun facts (did you know bats...well, I won't spoil it.) and what they have to do with being creative. You'll also learn how to know which studies and surveys to trust, the greatest questions you're not asking but should and how to get past your own biases.
You won't believe the things people laughed at that we now take for granted as great innovations. You'll learn what may be holding you or your company back from true innovation. You may just learn that people haven't changed much since the 1500's.
Hi! Welcome to Play to Innovate. Not only do I want to say hello, I'll define what true innovation is and give you a few examples. You'll also learn why not everything is innovation and why that's a good thing. I'll define what true innovation is and talk about how you can achieve it.
Comments (2)

Gary J. Lanham

Interesting episode, Bret. When I realized you have this podcast, I listened to episode 10. I decided to start at the beginning. I'm a fan. I'll be catching up and look forward to the future episodes!

Aug 8th
Reply (1)
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